Currently available statistics indicate that over 70% of American adult smokers want to stop smoking. These are tens of millions of people we are talking about and a lot of them just know how difficult it is to kick this unhealthy habit. Nicotine is a powerful addictive substance and studies actually show that it is as addictive as alcohol, cocaine, or heroin.
Normally smokers will try to stop smoking more than two times before they finally achieve success. Conventional modes to halt the habit more often than not are inadequate and so smokers look for other approaches that are outside the scope of conventional modalities.
One of these non-conventional approaches is acupuncture, a powerful form of Chinese healing technique that has the proven capacity to stop many kinds of substance and behavioral addiction. Acupuncture’s effectiveness is proven by the fact that it is a court mandated therapy for drug addicts due to its ability to treat anxiety, irritability, concentration difficulties and other symptoms of nicotine withdrawal and its ability to control cravings.
Cigarette Smoking – One of the Hardest Addictions to Overcome
There are over 50 million Americans who smoke. Data shared by the World Health Organization reveal that throughout the world, in people who are 18 years old and above, about 33% are smokers.
There are so many reasons to stop smoking. A single cigarette stick can contain more than 40 carcinogenic compounds and about 3,900 chemicals. Imagine inhaling just one stick inside your body. Among the very harmful chemicals that you put in your body when you smoke include DDT, arsenic, hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, tar, and nicotine. The CDC has stated that smoking tobacco is related to an increase in flu and colds frequency, chronic cough, shortness of breath, high blood pressure, lung cancer, and emphysema and has accounted for over 400,000 premature deaths each year.
A lot of smokers know the risk that smoking entails and really want to stop but they find the addiction too powerful to overcome. What’s more, there is growing social pressure for them not to smoke in public places. More often than not, smokers who smoke in public places are treated in a hostile manner by people nearby who are affected by their smoking
Permanent or long term smoking cessation can be achieved with acupuncture and this has been confirmed by a growing number of permanent ex-smokers who got through their addiction with this powerful Chinese healing art. Acupuncture for the treatment of smoking addiction aims in restoring energy balance in your body and addresses all symptoms to provide you with optimal health.
Addressing nicotine addiction and other forms of substance and behavior addiction are part of the training of all qualified acupuncturists based on the teachings of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Acupuncturists study the addiction from all viewpoints including its emotional, mental, and physical dimensions. Some acupuncturists adopt a technique known as auricular acupuncture in which acupuncture needles are stuck into five specific acupoints on the ear. This protocol for detoxification is endorsed by the NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association).
And so acupuncture assists in detoxification and relaxation. It also targets the symptoms of restlessness, irritability, cravings, and jitters making it much easier to overcome the addiction.
A study to observe the potency of acupuncture in decreasing the patient’s urge to smoke was done in Oslo, Norway. Five years after the initial treatment, the researchers saw that the taste of the participants for cigarettes changed and that the cigarettes tasted even worse than before the subjects started the study.
The needles used by acupuncturists for treating conditions are extremely thin. In smoking addiction treatment, these needles are inserted into specific places in the body and ears. Small pellets are taped to acupoints on the ear to sustain the effect of the treatment till the next treatment session. If the person starts to have a cigarette craving, all he/she has to do is to press gently on the pellets and his/her will be composed once more and the cravings dispelled.
Just to be clear, not all people may find acupuncture helpful for the condition they suffer from nor is acupuncture is a cure-all for any type of ailment or disease. What acupuncture is, is it facilitates the healing process which makes the treatment of addictions, including smoking highly successful and permanent.
So if you are really serious about stopping smoking for good, then you need to find a qualified practitioner who will help you kick the habit and give you full control of your life once more.
Acupuncture Therapy – How It Works
Based on the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine addiction are caused by an obstruction in the function of the Liver organ system. Your addiction to nicotine causes the Liver to get used to the stimulation of the nicotine flowing in your bloodstream. This stimulation replaces the natural stimulation that your own body used to provide. The Liver receives less energy from this stimulation which then causes it to poorly function.
The level of nicotine in your bloodstream falls in between each time you smoke. And since the Liver gets its energy/stimulation from the nicotine, the low nicotine level causes energy deficiency in the Liver causing it to malfunction. The result is the manifestation of symptoms that can include depression, anxiety, agitation, continued craving for smoking, and sleeplessness.
These symptoms typically are eased when you smoke a cigarette again and every time you do, the amount of nicotine in your body is boosted once more providing the energy the Liver needs to work properly that in turn silences temporarily the symptoms.
Acupuncturists treat this type of addiction by restoring the natural source of stimulation for the Liver. This either cures or chronically curbs your withdrawal symptoms since your Liver is once more being stimulated naturally and properly without the need to smoke. During the initial stages of the treatment the stimulation will wear off and so multiple sessions may be needed before the effects become permanent. The number of treatment before permanent results are obtained will depend on how well the patient responds to the treatment.
One other benefit that acupuncture can give a patient is that it tends to change the patient’s way of experiencing smoking. There are patients who may now find the taste of the cigarette or the smoke unpleasant and nauseous. This makes it easy for them to quit their bad habit completely.
How Many Treatments Do You Need?
The frequency, number and length of treatment sessions will vary. Normally a session may take five to 30 minutes to finish. The patient needs to receive treatment once or twice a week. Some patients may feel a substantial improvement with just the first treatment; for chronic or severe addictions, several sessions may be required.
Patients commonly need 4-6 initial therapies in the first few weeks after which are followed by once-a-month treatments spanning four to six months.
Acupuncture Neutralizes Cravings, but Habits are Oftentimes Hard to Break
Smokers have to deal with their unhealthy habit besides the physical cravings of their addiction. It is usually the habit of smoking that is more difficult to control than the physical addiction.
If you have emotional challenges that you need to confront and If smoking is your way of coping, then stopping smoking can make you feel vulnerable, helpless, and insecure. If you have incorporated smoking deep into your daily ritual, then not smoking can make your day seem incomplete. Quitting smoking is truly a challenging and a daunting task to achieve.
If you are willing to stop smoking completely, we advise that you utilize all the support systems available to you. Exercise, participate in a support group, get moral support from friends and family, and indulge in smoke-free activities. Smoking cessation requires social, emotional, and support. Be bold and overcome.